If you’re curious about your credit score, or worried about arrears affecting future borrowing, checking your credit report is easy. Here’s how to check your credit history, your credit check rights, & what your credit score means.
It’s good to review your credit history on a regular basis and always before you apply for credit. You’ll be credit checked if you’re planning to:
Lenders check your credit record to decide whether they will lend to you, and how much your borrowing will cost.
They also use it to check your name and address details are accurate, so make sure these are correct and up to date.
You can check your credit record for free on the Central Credit Register website.
Even if you think your credit record is good, you may discover things on your report you didn’t know about. It can flag up things like:
It can also remind you of when you last had arrears and how long you’ve been free of them. This can be useful when choosing a lender, because some have stricter lending criteria than others.
If you do find something on your report that you disagree with or you think is incorrect, you have the right to:
You should report any errors to the lender, not the credit agency, because it’s the lender that must request for the information to be changed.
It’s when you struggle to keep up to date with all your financial commitments, and this is recorded on your credit record.
This can include missed or late payments for:
Bad credit is often caused by not having enough income to cover your outgoings each month, so you fall behind on payments.
Making late payments, or missing payments sends you into arrears which are hard to get out of. This can spiral into a long history of poor credit that makes borrowing very difficult.
Lenders may use a credit score or rating to assess your application for a product and to help them decide whether you’re creditworthy.
Individual lenders use their own rating system based on the information you’ve provided as part of your application and your credit history.
Your credit record based on your history will hold information like whether:
Until recently the Irish Credit Bureau (ICB) also offered a credit score based on a person’s financial profile.
However, the ICB recently ceased its credit reference service and lenders now use reports from the Central Credit Register (CCR) and tend to use their own internal scoring system instead.
Typically, if you have a high credit score or rating, you’re considered to be less risky by potential lenders. This can be for a variety of reasons, e.g. if you’re more likely to make all your repayments on time.
Lenders may use a score in part, to help them decide:
Having a high credit score isn’t a guarantee that a lender will lend to you, and having a low score doesn’t always mean you won’t be able to borrow any credit.
There are many ways you can boost your credit score, including:
Details will be kept about your credit agreements for five years from when they’ve been paid off.
For example, if you have a personal loan that runs for three years, lenders will be able to see information about its history for a further five years, until it’s wiped from your record.
No, you can request as many checks as you need and it won’t affect your credit score or rating.
Too many credit checks made by lenders when you apply for credit may affect your credit score, because it can be a sign that you’re having difficulty getting credit.
If you find a mistake, you should contact the lender it relates to and ask them to correct the information they submitted to the credit agency.
The credit agency can’t change the information unless the lender advises them to.
It’s operated and owned by the Central Bank of Ireland, and has been storing information about loans of €500 and over, since 2017.
Lenders must register details of loans with the Central Credit Register by law.
It’s also a requirement that lenders check your credit report using this database for any loans of €2,000 or more - and they don’t need your consent to do this.
The ICB was owned by its members, such as banks, card issuers, mortgage providers and local authorities. It was formed to help speed up the process of getting credit, reduce the cost of credit, and help prevent fraud.
ICB’s credit records are no longer available for credit referencing purposes. Lenders will now use reports from the Central Credit Register (CCR), operated by the Central Bank of Ireland.
ICB will delete all its records other than those required to respond to subject access requests received. This deletion is planned from 1 November 2021. It will respond to all subject access requests received up to 31st October 2021.
You can now obtain your credit report from the Central Credit Register.
No. Individual lenders will have different rating systems and your score is only a snapshot of your credit status at a particular time.
It is possible to maintain a good score though by always paying on time and in full. It’s also possible to turn a bad score into a good score, and vice versa.
It only takes a few minutes to find the best loan for your borrowing needs.